Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
Fred A. Baker - One of the noted financiers of the country has said in speaking of business life, "If you do not win success do not blame the time in which you live or the environment that surrounded you, but place the blame where it really belongs - on yourself." Again and again has the history of the self-made man proven that in the individual is the inherent qualities that enable him to overcome obstacles, difficulties and rebuffs and make his way steadily upward. With a realization that untiring effort and industry are the best foundations for advancement in commercial circles, Fred A. Baker has exercised these qualities in his career as a merchant. He is now conducting a lumber and hardware business in Pawnee, where he has been located for six years. He was born in Loami township, Sangamon county, December 5, 1874, a son of Thomas Baker, also a native of this county and a grandson of Thomas Baker, Sr., on the pioneer settlers of central Illinois. His father was reared and educated here and in early manhood married Harriet Hall, also a native of this county and a daughter of Washington Hall, one of the early settlers. Thomas Baker became a prominent farmer of Loami township and is now living retired in Waverly, Illinois.
Fred A. Baker was reared to manhood under the parental roof and completed his education in the high school at Waverly. He was afterward associated with his brother in the lumber and hardware business at Loami for two years and in 1897 he purchased a small enterprise in Pawnee. He began operations here on a small scale, but has increased his stock from time to time and is now enjoying a large patronage. He carries an excellent grade of hardware and also of lumber and his fair dealing, earnest desire to please his patrons and progressive methods have brought o him very creditable success. He is likewise on of the directors of the building loan association of Pawnee and in commercial and financial circles occupies a very enviable position.
Mr. Baker was married in Pawnee, December 24, 1901, to Miss Lulu Morrell, who was born in Raymond, Montgomery county, Illinois, a daughter of Frank Morrell, the postmaster at Pawnee. They have one child, Ruth Vivian. Politically Mr. Baker is a stanch Republican, but cares not for the honors and emoluments of office, preferring to give his time and attention unto his business interests. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and he is a Royal Arch Mason, belonging to the lodge at Pawnee and the chapter at Auburn. He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias fraternity at Pawnee. He has recently completed an attractive home in the town and is thoroughly identified with the business and social interests of the place, its progress and prosperity.